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Opel opens up Astra OPC CAN bus data to iPhone app

Opel is making preselected data from the CAN bus (Controller Area Network) directly available on an iPhone where it can be displayed or analyzed further. The CAN bus is the central system that unifies and connects all the electronic control units in the vehicle.

iPhone users can now download the OPC PowerApp from the AppStore for €0.79, enabling them to access to CAN bus data. This application has its world debut in the Astra OPC, which is powered by a 2.0-liter direct-injection turbo gasoline engine, with 206 kW/280 hp output and maximum torque of 400 N·m.

Up to sixty different data, including engine boost pressure, throttle position, lateral acceleration or engine torque, are readily available in real-time on the iPhone. Data can also be stored and later compared with friends. A lap-time recorder connected to GPS data appeals to racing fans, for example those who use the Nürburgring track and want to analyze and improve their performances on the Nordschleife stretch.

In this way, braking points and section speeds can be analyzed. However, in addition the G-forces can be measured inside specific bends.

To use the OPC PowerApp, customers order a smart phone controller for installation behind the interior panels. It can be installed ex-works or retrofitted on request by Opel dealerships. The module is directly connected to the CAN bus of the vehicle and transmits its data with a frequency of 30 Hertz to the iPhone. An optionally available FlexDock iPhone cradle can also be installed to offer even better access and visibility of the PowerApp data.

Seven different display modes complete with the OPC logo and colors are available to the user including an analog instrument; a G-force meter; a digital display; an over/under-steer indicator; a bar chart; a line graph; and a map. The OPC PowerApp works on iPhones (starting at the third generation), iPad 2 and iPod Touch and will also be available for Android systems by early 2013.

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